Startup Tech: What You Should Invest In Now Or Leave Till Later

Running a new business is not an easy task. It involves dedicating a lot of time, effort, and sheer hard work to make the business grow and succeed. Part of this hustle is to be able to make smart decisions on what things to spend on early in the business. Most startups typically have tighter budgets compared to large corporations, so it is very important to learn what investments to prioritise.

One of the areas that many businesses struggle with is technology. With so many different business tech solutions, it can be downright confusing to decide what you really need and what you can put in the back burner. If you are a startup entrepreneur, here are some recommendations on what tech to invest in and which ones you can delay until later.

INVEST: Malware Protection

It is not unusual for many new companies to think that the free antivirus programs that come with the new laptops they buy are adequate. After all, why would you spend more on something that comes free? However, the reality is, these free software programs are often not sophisticated enough to fully detect the latest types of malware used in cyber-attacks. According to research, 92.4% of malware is delivered to your laptop via email, which means securing office devices should be a topmost priority.

The same research revealed that 58% of malware attack victims are categorised as small and medium enterprises or SMEs. This is because many of these companies have the misconception that only large corporations are targeted so they don’t employ the necessary measures to protect themselves.

Cybercrime is now very rampant and even major companies like Facebook and medical institutions find it difficult to manage the resulting losses. As a startup company, you are in the process of building client relationships and gaining their trust. You are also just trying to make a profit. If you become the victim of a cyber-attack very early on, it can actually result in financial and reputation damage that may be very hard to recover from.

SAVE: Buying Printers

Even if many business operations are going digital, printing is still a necessity. This does not mean however that you are required to part with your limited cash and buy an expensive printer. Many people do not realise that there is actually a more convenient alternative, which is to lease a printer.

The leasing option allows your business to have the latest printing technology and features, without having to pay for the printer upfront with your limited capital. By leasing instead of buying, you also have the flexibility to upgrade to another machine model when the contract is up for renewal so you are not stuck to the same old machine.

Another advantage of leasing a printer is that you don’t have to think about expensive repair costs because these contracts usually include maintenance and remote diagnostics services to make your operations more streamlined. A remote diagnostics service is a part of a managed print service that helps to lessen downtime whenever you face a printing issue, as the problem is resolved remotely without the need of a physical technician visit.

INVEST: Business Automation Systems

There is a false belief that Business Automation Systems are only applicable when you’re running a huge company. However, if you are a startup, automating different activities is actually a smart move because you would usually have a limited workforce. By using automation, not only are you saving time, but you are also lessening the manual tasks you and your team need to do.

Business Automation Systems can be applied in different areas of the business like marketing, customer service, finance, operations, and even on the physical office space. Here are some of the automation processes you should consider implementing:

Email Marketing – You can sign-up for cost-effective email marketing platforms that come with automated reports and analysis to learn which of your customers are engaging more with your business. Most platforms also offer good-looking drag and drop templates even an amateur can use.

Customer Service – The automated response features in messaging systems are very advanced nowadays that you can program different FAQs.  This saves a lot of time especially in filtering legit inquiries from spam emails.

Building Automation – These are systems that centralise all the lighting, heating, cooling, security, and other IT systems in an office space. While these are mostly used by big offices and entire buildings, there are now building automation systems tailored for smaller offices.  You don’t have to implement the whole top-of-the-line system, but having your lighting, cooling and heating centralised will make your office more energy efficient so you can save on utility costs. If you have a small office space, you can even use systems meant for homes to automate your lighting.

SAVE: High-End Smartphones

All business owners want their team to be more productive and this often requires arming employees with the right tech tools to do their jobs. One necessity is the smartphone, which allows you to be connected with your team, make calls, check emails, and message one another even on the go.

While it may be ideal for everyone in your sales team to have the latest smartphone, these are typically not sound investments. The cost of newly released smartphones is very high as these cater to those who must have the phones out of want rather than out of need. However, because new models come out at least every month, these devices lose their value almost immediately. Imagine paying full price for a newly released smartphone only to find out that it will cost 30% less in just a matter of months! That’s lost money right there.

As a business owner, buying these expensive smartphones is not really necessary because for sure, you can get a mid-end model that costs less but can do the same function. Better yet, instead of buying smartphones for your team, check with your local phone company if they offer cell phone bundle plans for businesses that come with data and minutes. Most of these companies also offer mobile phone units with zero upfront payment and you only need to pay monthly dues.

Making Smart Startup Decisions

Managing your cash flow and your financials as a startup business can be very challenging. The key to keeping your business afloat is to learn what investments to prioritise. You don’t need to immediately acquire every single tech solution immediately. By limiting your tech investments to products and services that really matter, you get more flexibility to run your business and make it grow.